Sustainable Tourism Networking: Recommended Groups for Practitioners

Published 15/01/2020
Sustainable tourism networking groups recommended by expert panel

Sustainable tourism networking groups recommended by expert panel

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about sustainable tourism, then that sustainability is a team effort, much easier to achieve for those who can benefit from exchange of ideas and advice. While our interviews are packed with tips and examples to follow, sometimes it’s good to connect directly with fellow tourism professionals, to hear their story first hand. But which groups and networks dedicated to sustainability (online and offline) should tourism practitioners follow?

Our panel of responsible tourism specialists suggests the following groups for networking (highlighted respondents are available as speakers).

Our key takeaways:

  • On Facebook, the Responsible Tourism Networking group is the most popular.
  • Ecotourism practitioners should join and follow the Global Ecotourism Network and its regional chapters.
  • The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is considered a valuable network you should engage with.
  • Destination practitioners should keep an eye on Green Destinations.

Albert Salman


I’ll focus on the top three platforms for destination sustainability practitioners: obviously Green Destinations, which I founded (online news, annual conference event), then the Sustainability Leaders United, and the Travindy newsletter.

For ecotourism practitioners, I would recommend the Global Ecotourism Network and its regional networks (AEN, LACEN).

Dagmar Lund-Durlacher


I recommend joining and following the One Planet Network.

Gianna Moscardo


For tourism educators and researchers, a good platform to network and engage is the Building Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Education Network.

Jonathan Tourtellot


Too many to list. That’s why we need a better clearing house than any of us can do alone. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s GSTC criteria remain the closest thing we’ve got to an international consensus on minimums to follow.

Jonathon Day Placemark SolutionsJonathon Day

InterviewSpeaker profile

Organizations that I am tracking at the moment:

Kelly Bricker, sustainable tourism expert panel memberKelly Bricker

InterviewSpeaker profile

There are many networks alive and well today, from Responsible Tourism Networking to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, of which I am a board member. The GSTC has provided industry and destination frameworks and minimum standards for each – these are vetted through multiple stakeholder processes and updated every 3-5 years.

I would also encourage checking locally about relevant initiatives in your town, city, state – there are relevant organizations at very local levels.

In addition, I would add that conservation organizations are continuously addressing climate issues and these need to be front and center. Many of these have local offices to connect with and engage with.

Kirsi Hyvaerinen

Kirsi Hyvaerinen

InterviewSpeaker profile

Masaru Takayama


In our part of the world, I want to say not just follow, but engage with our Asian Ecotourism Network.

If you are into mainstream tourism, PATA, the Pacific Asia Travel Association, and the Mekong Tourism Coordination Office are doing a good job to advocate the industry.

We are also following the work of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and accredited certifying bodies, like Green Destinations and Travelife.

Natalia Naranjo


Philippe Moreau


I would recommend two that I have been working with: The Long Run and Linking Tourism & Conservation

Raj Gyawali, sustainable tourism expert panel memberRaj Gyawali

InterviewSpeaker profile

A good global network that helps to find people is the Responsible Tourism Networking group on Facebook, which has over 16K members.



Vicky Smith

Vicky Smith

Interview   |  Speaker profile

Generally, Facebook groups such as Responsible Tourism Networking and Irresponsible Tourism, or the more consumer-focused Responsible Travel & Tourism Collective.

Other Facebook groups dependent on area of interest, such as the Global Ecotourism Network, European Ecotourism Network, Responsible Volunteering.

Travindy for industry news.

Pretty much everything important will be covered just by those above.

Vik Nair


Well, there are many networks across the globe dedicated to sustainability that every stakeholder in the tourism sector, including tourism practitioners, should adhere to. Some of the groups and networks which I follow closely:


With their philosophy, “Ecology through Tourism!”, this network of professionals from all over the world, focuses on ecotourism, sustainable tourism and the sharing economy worldwide. Current and aspiring tourism professionals, practitioners and academic share their philosophy. A valuable networking and job-searching platform for any emerging and seasoned professional in the ecotourism and sustainable tourism sphere.

Wild Asia

This social enterprise group work to help adapt the way consumers, businesses and traders operate, ensuring that they can leave a positive footprint on the developing world. Their annual Responsible Tourism Awards are one of the first tourism awards in Asia specifically focused on sustainable tourism best practices.

Responsible Rural Tourism Network

This social media group is a network of rural tourism experts, practitioners and academics  from worldwide who share their experience, best practice, innovative sustainable tourism products and innovations. The group was initially setup to manage the rural tourism sector more responsibly in Malaysia. Subsequently, the network grew worldwide with 636 individual members and organization advocating responsible rural tourism.

Global Sustainable Tourism Council

GSTC is managing the global baseline standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as acting as the international accreditation body for sustainable tourism certifications.

Willy Legrand


Surely, the Sustainability Leaders United, as well as the HospitalityNet World Panel on Sustainability in Hospitality.

Additionally, the Tourism2030 platform and network is filled with valuable tools and resources for tourism practitioners.

The UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) may be equally valuable to tourism professionals.

More about the sustainable tourism expert panel here – including previous sessions and answers to some of the most pressing issues linked to making tourism more sustainable.

You want to ask the panel a question? Get in touch!